My dad was in an accident a few weeks ago. For my mom it was the “perfect” end to a terrible, horrible, no good very bad week.
Mom is a list maker. When the week went from bad to terrible she did what most list makers do…she made another list—recording all that had gone wrong: big things, small things, annoying things and life altering things. It was an impressive list.
Mom is no pansy. She’s endured a lot of curve balls over the years and her rock solid faith often hits them out of the park. But this list had wrapped around her heart and was tempting her to cry foul!
She showed the list with my younger sister. Shared pity parties are so much more satisfying, don’t you think? Not if you want to commiserate with Paula Sue! My sweet sister scanned the list, handed it back and told Mom to tear it up.
“Write a different list.” She instructed (note to self—your daughter will probably give you advice someday, teach her well!). “Write down all the blessings that have come as a result of each of the things on the first list and then start thanking God for what He’s doing.” (note to mom—you taught your daughter well!)
God always wins. He uses every horrible, no good, very bad thing for good for all who love Him (Romans 8:28). Whether you experience the power of that reality depends on your focus.
Make a list of all the things that have gone wrong recently.
Does the list depress you? Take the wind out of your sails? Tear it up.
Now record the blessings that are blossoming from each item on the first list. If you don’t see them yet, ask God to open your eyes to His Handy work. If you’re still having trouble finding the blessings ask a trustworthy, follower of Jesus to help you. Seeing the blessings does NOT mean there won’t be pain, or loss or struggle, but you will find joy and peace that “exceeds anything we can understand” in the midst of any circumstance life throws at us. He promises.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
P.S. On the top of my moms’ second list she wrote: Jay didn’t die in the accident. A totaled car, a bruised body and a broken finger… but a husband that’s still next to her at night. Blessing.
P.S.S. Thanks Paula. You’re a blessing to both of us!